There are some people you just can’t picture in a sexual sense. Roberta Flack is one of those people. Her music, to me, has always felt chaste. When I discovered Flack’s music, she was already in middle age, so the image I’ve painted of her in my head has always been matronly. She’s only a year younger than my grandmother, for crying out loud.
So, the fact that “Feel Like Makin’ Love” might be my favorite Roberta Flack song that doesn’t contain Donny Hathaway is kind of odd. Despite the title, this song strikes me more like an easy listening staple than a late-night bumpin’ and grindin’ slow jam. It’s sultry, I guess. It’s spring-like, lazy and laconic (thanks to my dude for Matt Block for discussing this song with me on my show a few days ago and giving me some clarity on my thoughts) But I don’t know that I get any pants feelings from it the same way that I do from contemporaneous songs by Barry White or Chaka Khan.
All of this takes nothing away from the fact that “Feel Like Makin’ Love” (not to be confused with the much more aggressively sexual Bad Company song of the same name) is a fantastic record. It also doesn’t take away from the fact that Roberta Flack might be a class-A freak. How do I derive this? Well, let’s just say I may have worked in a popular record and video store back in the day and someone with the name Roberta Flack who lived in a very famous apartment building had a video rental account at this place. We may have had our customers’ entire history of video rentals. And most of what this person rented was of the XXX variety. You can imagine how much that messed with the matronly image I had back in the day.